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Shawn Olsen, Debbie Amundsen, Bill Varga, Donna Minch and Dave Anderson

University students have been involved with the Utah Botanical Gardens (UBG) since their inception in 1954 as part of the Utah State University (USU) Utah Agricultural Experiment Station (UAES). Students and professors travel from USU to visit UBG, conduct class tours, and participate in research projects. Students also work at UBG as summer interns, and in 1986, USU began offering off-campus horticulture classes for credit at UBG. Today, 20 different classes are taught at UBG or nearby sites. These classes are part of the USU Applied Ornamental Horticulture degree program and can also be used to qualify as a Certified Nursery Professional by the Utah Nursery and Landscape Association.

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Dave I. Thompson, Neil O. Anderson and Johannes Van Staden

Polyploidy represents a useful tool for increasing marketability of floriculture crops. The efficacy of 250 μM colchicine [0.01% (w/v)] as a means of inducing polyploidy in six South African Watsonia species (W. borbonica subsp. ardernei, W. humilis, W. laccata, W. lepida, W. pulchra, and W. vanderspuyiae), as determined through high-resolution flow cytometry, is reported. Exposure to colchicine during imbibition and as 24-, 48-, or 72-h pulse treatments for in vitro-germinated seeds resulted in seedlings with increased ploidy, reaching a maximum of 60% induction after the 72-h pulse treatment. The greatest proportions of induced individuals from both the pre- and post-germination exposure treatments were of mixed ploidy. These mixoploids were induced in five species. Non-chimeric tetra- and octaploids were produced in low frequencies only for W. vanderspuyiae during radicle-pulse exposure of 24 and 48 h. Increasing colchicine exposure at radicle emergence manifested as aberrant phenotypic expression and was typified by a reduction in leaf length and rooting capacity in vitro coupled with overall slowed growth. In vitro regeneration and multiplication is easily achievable for the genus and should allow for the capture and refinement of desirable polyploid tissues.

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Neil Anderson, Peter Ascher, Esther Gesick, Brad Walvatne, Neal Eash, Vince Fritz, Jim Hebel, Steve Poppe, Roger Wagner and Dave Wildung